Tallahassee Democrat Crops Picture, Lands Interview with Mayor Andrew Gillum

Tallahassee Democrat Crops Picture, Lands Interview with Mayor Andrew Gillum

Tallahassee Reports has learned that the Tallahassee Democrat published an altered picture of Mayor Andrew Gillum and Adam Corey as part of a negotiation that resulted in the Tallahassee Democrat getting an interview with Mayor Gillum.

Gillum is a candidate for Florida governor.

Multiple sources, who have seen the unaltered picture, made Tallahassee Reports aware of the editing after the Tallahassee Democrat published the picture on January 18, 2018.

This edited picture, shown below, was reported to have been taken on a boat ride during a trip to New York City. Sources that have seen the unedited picture indicate the photo could be embarrassing to the gubernatorial candidate.

Also, sources close to Mayor Gillum indicated that the Tallahassee Democrat was pressured by Gillum, his supporters and Tallahassee Democrat advertisers not to publish the original picture.

One look at Gillum’s financial backers reveals a number of political heavy-weights supporting Gillum’s gubernatorial candidacy.

These names include the George Soros family, who donated $250,000 to Gillum’s Political Action Commitee (PAC), and the famous TV producer and liberal activists Norman Lear who donated  $50,000.

At the local level, state lobbyists and local attorney Sean Pittman donated $45,000 and local businessman Rick Kearney donated $10,000.

In the end, an agreement was reached between Gillum and the Tallahassee Democrat which resulted in an edited version of the original picture being published in return for an interview with Mayor Andrew Gillum.

Why did the Tallahassee Democrat negotiate with Gillum over publishing the picture? What was newsworthy about the unedited picture?

The negotiations with Gillum are not consistent with the way the Tallahassee Democrat has recently handled sensitive pictures dealing with other prominent politicians.

For example, the Tallahassee Democrat has recently published unflattering photos associated with former Superintendent Jackie Pons and current City Commissioner Scott Maddox.

Tallahassee Reports has confirmed no negotiation was offered by the Tallahassee Democrat to these politicians.

The cropped picture published by the Tallahassee Democrat.

The article that accompanied the picture was  published on January 18, 2018 was entitled “Andrew Gillum opens up about cutting ties with lobbyist friend Adam Corey and Mike Miller” and was written by reporter Jefferey Schweers.

Schweers informed readers that the cropped photo “prompted Gillum’s camp to reach out and request a meeting.” However, based on sources, the unedited and unpublished  picture – not the cropped picture – prompted the meeting.

Was Schweers aware of the cropping? If so, he clearly misled readers.

The decision by the Tallahassee Democrat to alter the picture raises several relevant questions.

First, why was Mayor Andrew Gillum given a “deal” to avoid the printing of the unedited picture?

As mention above, other local political figures, such as City Commissioner Scott Maddox and former Superintendent Jackie Pons, have recently had unflattering pictures published on the front page of the Tallahassee Democrat without any “deal making” editing.

Second, the decision by the Tallahassee Democrat to “broker a deal” with an elected official raises questions about what other deals have been brokered with other elected officials in the past? What is the criteria used by the Tallahassee Democrat for offering deals?

Third, sources say Gillum supporters successfully convinced the Tallahassee Democrat it was in their best interest not to publish the original picture. Instead of exposing those behind these tactics, the Tallahassee Democrat chose to hide their identity and broker a deal. What Tallahassee Democrat advertisers and/or Gillum supporters are influencing the local news that gets printed by the Tallahassee Democrat?

And finally, did the Tallahassee Democrat use an embarrassing picture – with little news value – to encourage Mayor Andrew Gillum to give an interview? If not, what story was going to be written based on the original picture?

Tallahassee Reports is seeking comment from the publisher of the Tallahassee Democrat, Skip Foster, and the news editor, William Hatfield.

15 Responses to "Tallahassee Democrat Crops Picture, Lands Interview with Mayor Andrew Gillum"

  1. As a former graphic journalist in both major (Orlando Sentinel) and smaller newspapers for over twenty years, I can tell you that cropping a “News Photo” (as opposed to a Features or “Fluff Story” photo) is looked down upon as unprofessional or extremely poor journalism. If it’s important news at all, the photo usually runs as it was shot, in it’s original form. Even worse, the Democrat “made a deal” with Gillum and didn’t clearly inform readers of the Gillum and advertiser pressure applied to the Democrat to crop the photo instead of publish it in original form. None of this is surprising – the Democrat long ago abandoned any pretense of being an actual journalistic publication. It’s a Shill Rag for liberals and powerful local interests, pure and simple (that’s been widely called out with many examples over a decade or more by professional journalistic publications/websites). Now, if they’d only put that “Shill Rag” disclaimer on the masthead, where it belongs.

    As a side note, if I recall correctly (and I could be wrong but this is my memory of seeing it), this same photo in it’s original form included an undercover FBI agent posing as a wealthy developer standing near or next to Gillum and Corey, and it was shot on their “outing” to New York City when the “developer” paid for tickets to see the play “Hamilton” and also a Yankees game. Again, I could be wrong, but that’s my recollection. What would be great is to see the original photo published next to the cropped photo, with detailed captions identifying the people in the photo. Then readers can make their own conclusions as to why Gillum wanted the photo cropped.

  2. Confusion exists over what was cropped. It IS relevant to understand whether the Democrat actually helped Tricky Andy or not. Please humor us and print the entire original picture, or whatever version of it you have, Steve. “Embarrassing” is not enough. Right to know what our Mayor is doing is the issue.

    P.s. Thanks TR for doing all you do. Otherwise we would be asleep at the wheel as citizens just like the Tallahassee Propagandacrat.

  3. What a bullshit article. Unnamed sources that won’t speak on the record or provide any actual evidence to support the claim that the picture was edited. How does anyone even consider this pathetic website to be anything close to real journalism?

    1. First, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal use unnamed sources when dealing with sensitive subjects. Second, people in Tallahassee with information about public officials are reluctant to talk due to a fear of retribution. For example, TR broke the Fernandez-Ticket scandal based on unnamed sources. Fernandez eventually resigned. You should be outraged at the Tallahassee Democrat not Tallahassee Reports.

  4. Domino, go back and look at the article run in TD showing the bottom portion of the picture blurred out. I don’t know why TD did it because our Mayor looks like an idiot either way, but the issue is a bit more than what was cropped. The issue is why was it blurred in the first place. I think the reason is because the Mayor was embarrassed by the photo and applied all kinds of pressure to TD in order to stop the story. The result was TD blurring out a portion of the photo. Again, not necessarily a big deal until you look further at why a media outlet would succumb to the pressure of it in the first place. And moreover what kind of pressure did he apply? What political entities made calls on the Mayor’s behalf–that’s the story I want to see.

    1. That is what I am asking too. All photos are likely cropped for print space. That it was cropped is only news if we know what was cropped.

      1. The news is that the pic was cropped after political pressure and as a condition for an interview. In the end it really does not matter what was cropped.

  5. This article emphasizes the complete power that has been held over Tallahassee by a select few for many years. The Democrat’s cover provided to Gillum is yet another example of disguising the truth. It is disgusting and should serve as an example to all; but even worse to me are the businesses that profit by controlling these scumbags. The Law Firm, The Bank, The Commerce, The Real Estate Firm, The Garbage Company, The Tree Huggers, The Land Group Developers, the idiots in pictures with midget strippers are all just a piece of the puzzle contributing to the dark cloud– and you all know who you are. Shame on you for pimping these elected fools. What do we get in return?? We get scumbag elected officials who are weak and cannot think themselves out of a paper bag. This is the underlying reason for the complete disfunction of our community. Yet just when I was about to lose hope here comes the FBI. God, please let them indict every single last scum bag in our esteemed community. Otherwise we can expect more of the same.

  6. Might want to ask gillum about the shredding of many of his personal and official records at a facility out by Bradfordville Blues Club.

    1. The Democrat has no integrity so it can’t be about that.

      What I am trying to figure out is if the photo you showed is the the previously printed (edited) version, or the supposedly provocative unedited version. Calling it “the photo” does not help me decode which one and having only one does not allow for comparison.

  7. Is this like one of those click bait articles telling us we will “freak out” when we see it? I never saw the printed one so I zoomed and I studied……he is holding a cell phone and wearing sunglasses in the front of his shirt while throwing up the double finger gun buddy bro gesture. Is there a Where’s Waldo midget I am missing……or is this about finger gun control?

    Is it embarrassing because Corey looks like the Cheshire Cat on a first date?

    Somebody help me out.

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